Do you ever have those days where you wonder if all the world has gone deaf? Or if you lost your voice and really are only hearing yourself in your head? Where your words seem to have lost all power and contain zero incentive for any of your people--little or otherwise?
Yeah. It was one of those days.
Every direction, every request, every task vaporized like so much mist into the atmosphere. My words: POOF! The very letters dismantled and singularly tossed into the air one at a time. The decibel level rises with the blood pressure and still no one listens. Until even I don't want to listen to me.
Yeah. One of those days.
How many times is too many before I crack and explode all over? My frustration and helplessness spills ugly. It's always hard when a mama needs a time out and there's simply nowhere to go.
It's sometimes astounding to me that children make it out of toddler-hood. Specifically three year olds. I'm convinced that's why God makes sure they are so sweet and lovable when they are having good moments so right when you want nothing more than to throw your hands up in the air and give up hard, one says soft, "Mama, can you hold me?"
And her silky is in one arm, draped, and that thumb rises to her mouth and those big chocolate pools in her sweet round face sparkle up at me.
Isn't it true that soft words soothe a fractured soul--that loving purely melts away the angst? Isn't it true that a kind word carries far more soul power than an angry word? The kind of power that ends the angst before it takes root. Angry words keep fracturing away, chipping and splintering the soul. Gentle words heal and mend and knit together what anger tears apart.
And what can I do but hold her tight? What is there to do but love her now, love her hard--because she won't always be three and she won't always want to be held tight and close, heart to heart. And isn't this the most important part of parenting--showing that loving her right now is more important than my agenda. Love trumps my frustration. Love will lead to the other.
As I got ready for bed, it came to me:
We are like three year olds...well at least I am. How many times does God lead us and we play dumb? We close our ears to Him to hear something else. We don't obey the first, or the second, or the third time and we know better. We go round and round and justify and make excuses and offer paltry reasons why we cannot do the thing we ought. The thing He asks. And still God loves.
And what a wonder and a security that I know--I KNOW--that God will not throw His hands up in the air and be done with me. Ever. That His love is measureless and deep and bottomless and eventually He will catch me up in all that fathomless grace. And the deeper I know His love the easier it is to hear. The more I know His heart, the more my ears wait upon His voice.
Could it be the same with my little people? Is there a disconnect sometimes between their heart and their ears that just needs a moment of my time, my affection, my gentleness to clear up and clear out the other?
I see it. I do. I see when life and laundry and dishes and bills and the thing that just broke become bigger than my little people. I can almost stand outside myself and watch myself focus on the things and not the little one asking me a question for the 47th time, not the big one who is so excited to show me the new bracelet she made for Clara, not the middle one who just wants to sit in my lap with her silky and be with me while I'm paying bills. Each of them just wants to be with me, to share a piece of themselves with me. And it brings me low and humble, knowing that I put the temporal over the eternal.
I have never thought about this before. That I can wage a war against the helplessness, against the frustration, against the seeds of doubt just by loving. By going deep and loving hard and seeing with His eyes the things I cannot see with mine. Because really, the laundry and the dishes and the bills and the thing that just broke...they will still be there in 10 minutes or tomorrow or next week. My investment now isn't going to change those things. But my little people need me now. And they last forever. And they matter way more than any bill or load of laundry. And my investment now means everything.
My mama told me this the other day. My little people feed off of me. If I feed them grace, then what spills over is graceful. If I feed them frustration and irritation...well then...we all know how that ends. And it's not happy.
They need a mama's heart uncluttered and clear so that I can see their souls more clearly--to see the needs of their hearts instead of my needs in the moment.
Isn't all true obedience a byproduct of love? Sure there's a healthy dose of fear there, but love most of all? The deeper our love, the greater our respect, the healthier our fear, the more we desire to obey because of the love.
And perhaps my obedience to Him who calls my name, who whispers gentleness into my soul when I'm not feeling gentle, who leads me kindly, is the first step. Perhaps the restoration of hearing begins with His restoration of me.
And so tomorrow will be a new day, with new eyes, and a new heart because His mercies are new every morning.
Grace Always Rises,